A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Not even plan B

I was reading a blog this morning, and something really bothered me about it.  The perspective was, "We're so great for rescuing this poor, orphan child.  She hasn't had anything, seen anything, done anything, in these wasted years while she waited for us.  Her life will be so much better with us.  We can't wait to leave China."

It made me really sad.  Because those people are going to shape their daughter's perception of her homeland.  And because I know for a fact that Hannah was loved in her orphanage, and I have reason to believe that Katie is, too.  Not only that, but those kids aren't waiting for us.  They're living!  Just because they don't live in a family doesn't mean they're current existence is on some sort of cosmic pause button until we come get them.

While I'm on a roll, can I just say that I *loved* China, and I absolutely can't wait to go back?  It is a great honor to be allowed to adopt from a place with such a rich and fascinating history, and I intend to soak up some more of the sights and the amazing food during our trip.  My hope is that we will take Hannah and Katie and Luke back for heritage visits, so that they can see for themselves the wonder that I felt when I was there.  Not to mention, I still haven't seen the Terra Cotta Warriors yet!

There's a certain mindset in some parts of the adoption community that takes this "rescuing" mentality and runs with it.  And while I understand the reasoning behind it, and the lovely platitudes and verses you can throw down to support that idea, it still feels... icky.  The waters get even more murky when you add fundraising to the mix.  We have fundraised shamelessly with this adoption because we are bringing home two children.  Not because we want to "rescue as many as we can" but because we really wanted two more kids in our family.  Although I've been accused of being the "crazy cat lady" equivalent of a child collector, that's not it, either.  (I'm trying to decide if this is better or worse than being called a Human Pez Dispenser...)  I'm 99.97% certain this is our last adoption.  I know to never say never, but honestly, I don't want to go through the paperwork ever again.

Maybe I'm kidding myself, but I think there's a difference between "Hey, we're adopting, and if you'd like to help us out, that would be really great, because it's super expensive!" and "Help us pay the ransom for our orphan."  I have literally seen it referred to that way.  Now, having completed an adoption and justified our expenses to the IRS, I can tell you that RANSOM is not a line item in that particular budget.  Seriously?  Who was kidnapped?  If anything, the crazy white folks taking the child away from everything they've ever known (with the blessing of 2 governments) are more kidnappers than the orphanage ever was.  But "setting the captive free" tugs on one's heartstrings, doesn't it?

I think that sort of mentality just eats it up when other people say, "She's so lucky!" meaning, "She's so lucky you rescued her from that awful place."  Bleh.  That would top my list of things I'd really rather you not say to me, or in front of my children.  Adoption is born from loss.  Yes, there are gains, and I do believe my kids can, and hopefully will, have a great life here.  I wouldn't be able to adopt if I didn't have that hope.  But to say that she's lucky for being abandoned?  For being institutionalized? Not so much.

Please don't ever say to me, "Hannah was made for your family!"  She's not a custom tailored suit; she's a person.  And don't ever tell me, "God meant for her to be your daughter!"  Really?  He must have been a little confused then, because she ended up in somebody else's uterus.  Plan A was for Hannah to grow up with her birthparents.  Plan B would be for her to have been adopted within China.  Say what?  No, really, think about it.  Our American perspective, and our entitlement issues make that one harder to swallow, but if we're honest about what's best for the child, it's BETTER for them to remain in their homeland, with their native language, and culture and heritage.  Not being a walking poster child for transracial adoption.

We're Plan C.  And I'm okay with that.  Hannah (and Katie and Luke, and thousands of other kids like them) have gotten a raw deal.  But you know what?  She's making the best of it.  It is a privilege to watch her learn and grow and flourish.  You can absolutely say to me, "She's doing beautifully."  Because she is.  She has been a blessing to our family, and she has changed how people all around us think about adoption.

Although it wasn't luck, but prayer, hard work, patience, and yes, a lot of money, that brought our adopted children into our family, if you simply HAVE TO say that somebody is lucky, try saying, "Wow, you're so lucky to have them in your family!"  That, I can agree with.

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  1. This is great, I could agree with you more!

  2. Terra Cotta Warriors - SO on my bucket list. And Plan C - i think you are absolutely right. I respond often, "No, we are the lucky ones and my life is better for knowing them."

  3. Wonderful post!!!!

    From another self-acknowledged Plan C family.

  4. Yes, in God perfect plan our kiddos would grow up healthy and whole with their birth families. So thankful that God let me be plan "C". However, I'm sure spending a lot of $$$ looking for my kids birth families in Asia but they're worth.